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Much room for more local wine

Wine connoisseur Michael Fridjhon at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show held in Windhoek. (Photograph by Hilma Hashange).

Wine connoisseur Michael Fridjhon at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show held in Windhoek. (Photograph by Hilma Hashange).

Even with four wine producers, wine making in Namibia is yet to make its mark on the international frontier. Coupled with previous bumper grape harvests and a wide consumer base, wine production has the potential to grow in importance as an agri-industry.
Namibian wines however missed out again at the prestigious Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, which took place at the Windhoek Country Club on 14 June 2012. The wine tasting event, hosted by Old Mutual for the 6th consecutive year, featured 27 elite brands from top wine makers in South Africa for Namibia’s discerning wine lovers to sample. Wine connoisseur, Michael Fridjhon, a renowned wine master, encouraged local wine masters to enter the annual wine show, stating that although he has never tasted Namibian wine, he could sense potential in the local market since Namibians are wine lovers.
According to Fridjhon, wine production is the third largest industry in South Africa. It employs over 260,000 people and has a direct contribution of billions of Rands to the Gross Domestic Product.
Fridjhon, who has judged the tri-nations wine challenge for the last five years, said that organic cultivation methods result in tastier wines.He emphasised that minimising the use of chemicals and replacing these with organic ones such as copper sulphates in the vineyards, adds value to the taste of wine. Fridjhon found that most people are not receptive of white wines as they tend to lack the full body and subtle flavours that only deep reds can provide.
The selection of wines at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show included both red and white wines.
According to the wine connoisseur, fine wine is an art form, an object of aesthetic intention in much the same way as any other artefact or perfomance art. “The same wine does not always taste the same; bottle to bottle, occassion by occassion, taster by taster,” he explained.
Namibia’s only manufacturer of Namibian brandy, Kristal Kellerei,situated outside Omaruru produces two red wines, namely Ruby Carbenet and Carbenet Sauvignon and a white wine called Colmard.

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